Whether you’re an experienced quilter or a beginning quilter, looking for inspiration or instruction, it never hurts to add to your knowledge bank.
The best quilting books can guide you through your quilting process, teach you different techniques, and just up your quilting game.
The list below includes many of the books on my own bookshelf as well as some recommendations from friends who have quilted longer than I have.
New quilters and advanced quilters alike can find these books useful and inspiring.
This collection of quilting books includes a range of quilting projects and styles from traditional to modern and unique. But the emphasis is definitely on more modern quilts as well as how to use up your fabric scraps in your quilting.
So how do you decide on the best quilt book for your skill level?
You know I’m all about using up all those scraps and reducing waste as much as possible.
If you are too or you want to be, this book is a great step to thinking like a scrap quilter!
This book includes tips on how to make scrap quilts including picking fabric combinations that work.
Author: Lissa Alexander
Best Improv Quilt Books
For me scrappy quilting is very closely related to improv quilting.
But whether you are having fun playing with your scraps or you just love improv techniques these books should provide you with some fresh ideas to get you inspired to make your own unique quilt creations!
This may be the oldest book on the list, but it’s still a favorite book amongst quilters due to its large collection of quilt blocks.
This ultimate guide contains almost 200 quilt patterns and an index of quilt block names and origins. You can make them modern by using solids or bright colors or using just a few blocks paired with negative space to make them really stand out.
Author: Judy Martin
Best Books for Machine Quilting Techniques and Ideas
These books focus on that final step in making a quilt - quilting together your quilt sandwich.
These books offer techniques and inspiration for machine quilting your fabulously pieced creations!
This book and the sequel Walk 2.0 (see below) is one of the most popular books for learning to quilt with your walking foot. This book has easy-to-follow instructions and lots of ideas for creative and modern walking foot quilting.
Walk even comes in a spiral-bound version to make it easier to refer to while you are at your machine.
This book is one I received as a gift. I don't look at it as often as the title might lead you to believe but it has some interesting exercises and techniques to try if you are looking to start designing your own modern quilts.
This quilting book is a great resource for simple illustrations and easy-to-follow steps to create 30 beautiful quilts efficiently.
This book is for both the novice quilter and quilters looking for a refresher. Along with the patterns and instructions, it also includes helpful information focused on the history of quilting and how the craft is modernizing in today’s world.
I’ve heard this quilting book is one of the best and an invaluable resource for the absolute beginner. It teaches the basics of modern machine quilting with step-by-step detailed instructions and photographs.
Wondering if it’s the right quilting book for you? It covers everything from choosing fabric to sewing seams to completing a quilt top.
The book includes projects that start with easy quilts and gradually progress to more difficult patterns to help you succeed in mastering basic techniques and beyond.
This practical guide expertly guides beginner quilters through each and every step of the learning process to make an entire quilt their first time.
Author: Pat Sloan
Best Quilting Books for Inspiration
This lot of books includes titles that are more for inspiration.
While they may include some instructions and how-to info - even templates and patterns - the bulk of the book is focused on the history and art of quilting itself and inspiring you - great for when you don't know what to make next!
This book is a retrospective of famous quilter Victoria Findlay Wolfe's work. She is famous for creating 15 minutes of play - a quilting exercise that helps you to get more creative and develop your own unique quilts.
Victoria Findlay Wolfe marries traditional quilts with modern and improv techniques and aesthetics. Her work is scrappy, original, and bold.
This is a lovely hard-backed coffee table style book.
You can use this book to save time and frustration by using preselected and precut strips. The eight patterns in this book use 2.5” strips which are perfect when you want to create a quilt without the planning and prepping.
Do you have a quilt bucket list? This book contains 12 quilts – six different themes designed by each of the two authors and veteran quilters.
I've not read this one myself but it comes highly recommended by other quilters.
Authors: Corey Yoder & Sherri L. McConnell
Put a post-it note or another marker with your cut project pieces or unfinished blocks with the name of the book the pattern came from…if you are the type to get sidetracked and return to half-finished projects months later this will save a lot of searching!
If you get to the point where you have made all the projects from a quilt book you’ve bought and you want to swap it out for a new one you can always sell your old quilting books. The same places where I sell quilting fabric from my stash have lots of quilters buying and selling books.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I photocopy a pattern from a book and give it to my quilting friends?
No. You really shouldn’t do this out of respect for the book’s author and the time and effort they put into their work.
You can lend one friend the book of course, or even multiple friends in turn but when you start making photocopies you should be asking yourself if it wouldn’t be of more benefit to the quilting community as a whole if you bought a few more copies of the book to share around.
The common practice is that you can make a working photocopy for yourself to make notes on the pattern for example, but you shouldn’t really be making multiple copies so that your friends don’t need to buy the book.
Can I use pre-cuts for patterns I find in quilt books?
Usually, the author of the book will include information in the cutting instructions about any pre-cuts, like jelly rolls, layer cakes, or fat quarters that can be used to simplify the cutting process.
Many books are out there that are specific to a certain kind of pre-cut as well.